According to a new Penn State-led study, the risk of serious injury to workers in the food supply chain has increased due to pandemic-caused supply-chain problems.
In an article on Penn State's website, researcher Judd Michael, Penn State professor of agricultural and biological engineering compared the food industries to other industries and found that food manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing experience relatively high numbers of occupational injuries and fatalities.
“Materials handling and movement within and between facilities is critical to the efficient functioning of all links of the food-related supply chain, but product movement can be a source of occupational injuries,” he said, in the arcticle. “For example, manufacturers often use palletizers to aggregate individually packaged food products into a unit load before they can be transported using a pallet jack, forklift or other powered industrial truck.”
The survey examined OSHA data from 2015-2022 that involved severe injuries. The results were 1,084 severe injuries and 47 fatalities during the six-year period. Data indicated that 2020 saw a significant increase in severe injuries as compared to previous years.
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